Friday, February 15, 2008

My Ticketless Valentine's Day!

My Valentine's day had to be good. It was displayed on my department notice board a week back. I had to give my project review on 14th Feb evening.

I don't remember myself doing many humanly activities in the past one week. I have been out of the hostel since last Friday, today being Friday again. And I don't remember which day before today I had taken a sleep of even 6 hrs. That was my condition in my project work. Nothing abnormal, just to tell those who don't have projects.

On the V-day (or D-day), I woke up at almost 10. Pretty early, considering I had slept after 5 in the night (Homo Sapiens call that time morning). I had to be ready for the review presentation which was supposed to be at 2.30 pm, so considering the time, I decided to study a little. My studies got over by 2.10 and I ran to the college with my teammates. We reached the college almost in time and met our examiner who told we had to present after 2 teams that were in queue.

We finally gave our review to our examiner who seemed not so interested in listening due to a lab session going simultaneously and the twenty minute review was soon over, the dial ready to strike 4.

Free from the review I had an ice cream and Daal-roti with my teammates and went to the hostel for a change. Around 5, I messaged my friend who had to leave for Chennai and told her that my review was after 5.30 and so I couldn't go with her to station (don't get confused, my review was over). She, somehow, said it was okay and I need not worry about her as she could go alone. But she wanted to meet me once before going if I had time.

I told I was busy setting laptop for the review and hardly had any time but still could find some (Wow! that's me). After a lot of yes-no-why-how-okays she came to meet me and was puzzled to see me coming from the wrong side (I had to come from college campus, not hostel) but still didn't get my lie. Later when she asked how was my prep I told my review was over and I was free to go with her. And she tried hard not to look angry.

Anyways, I love people getting angry with me, except a few I'm afraid of. I went to the station with her and kept saying sorry for telling lies (of course, to irritate more). Finally, when it was the time for the train to come I asked her to move in first as there was too much rush and it was tough for her to get in with the luggage. When she got in, I gave her the luggage but while trying to make way to go back I couldn't find a way in the crowd and was almost forced in. And thus I was in the train. So I kept on moving with the crowd thinking I could get down at the next door. And while I was still moving with the crowd in the train, it suddenly started moving. And within a few seconds I realized there was a difference between the electric trains and the diesel trains. Though i didn't know whether the train was electric or not, yet I could guess it was.

And after a few more seconds, I decided to leave myself to the fate. And i found there were hardly any problems, until i felt i didn't have the ticket. I was standing with my friend (who had a seat reserved) until i saw the ticket examiner (TTE as I've been listening since my childhood) and searched for a place to hide and found some place. (And I should tell u I have never in my life seen such good toilets in Indian Railways. NO drop of water on the floor, NO scribbling on walls.) Anyways, I somehow reached safe from the TTE to Arakonam, the next big station I knew, and jumped down from the train as soon as I got a chance.

Now I was safe from the TTE and completely innocent (if u r not caught, u r innocent) roaming on the roads of Arakonam. Then I cam back into the station from the way I could find and went to the ticket counter (and not inquiry) to ask for the next train for Katpadi. The guy there asked me for the money and gave me the ticket before those in line, along with the info that the train was almost there.

I got the ticket and reached the platform to know that the train had gone and the next train was after an hour and a half. I came outside the station and found an elderly person to whom I asked for how much I could get an auto for the bus stand. He told if I could speak Hindi and told me I could get one for almost rupees ten and the way to the bus stand. Within ten minutes, I was talking to second such local person who talked to me in Hindi at his own will, in Tamilnadu, a state where politicians claim Hindi to be 'hurting' people, telling me once again it was all about politics, be it Madras or Mumbai.

Anyways, I reached the bus stand and found a bus just ready to leave for Vellore. Fortunately the bus had enough space. Although after an hour and a half I was wondering how much more you can travel here for any amount of money compared to that in the Northern states of India. When I got down at the Vellore bus stand, I took a 5 rupee auto to Lalit Vihar and had a refreshing 32 rupees Daal-roti there.

Finally, I was back to my Project partner Anish's room at 12. My Valentine's day was over.

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